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Author Topic: 365 Members For The Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS)  (Read 3179 times)
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Omega 365
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« on: November 15, 2014, 02:59:03 PM »

365 Members For The Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS)



New manager Sarah Wigmore to drive next phase of growth
Consumers can find out more about AWS, in person, at The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show – 17 – 22 February 2015 – NEC Birmingham.

The AWS has gone from strength to strength this year with 44 companies joining, taking the total number of fixed and mobile Approved Workshops to 365. These are spread all across the UK, from Plymouth to Inverness, meaning the nations’ caravan and motorhome owners have access to quality service centres operating to the schemes’ rigorous standards.    

An increased AWS presence at the recent NEC Motorhome & Caravan Show led to a large number of enquiries and the scheme continues to gain new members every week, including, most recently, Ellis Caravan Services and Aynho Wharf Caravans Ltd.

Another new member, Bristol Caravans, is delighted to be part of the scheme. “As a workshop striving to deliver outstanding customer experiences, we joined the national AWS to demonstrate our commitment to quality,” says owner Oakleigh Wood. “AWS membership means customers can be confident that the work we carry out is second to none and that it will comply with warranty conditions.”

New manager Sarah Wigmore will lead the ongoing expansion of the scheme and also focus on implementation of improvements to the assessment processes, which will operate under a stricter regime, customer satisfaction surveys and Workshop Award System.

The Approved Workshop Scheme is a joint enterprise between the NCC, The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club. Set up in 1998 it is the benchmark for tourer and motorhome habitation servicing in the UK. The scheme is supported by all major caravan and motorhome manufacturers allowing scheme members to service vehicles during the warranty period without invalidating it.  

The scheme ensures that:

   Caravan/motorhome owners know their vehicles are being serviced by fully qualified servicing professionals trained to required Standards

   All workshops are independently assessed and comply with an industry wide Code of Practice

   Manufacturer warranties are preserved

When a caravan or motorhome owner uses the scheme, they know that the workshop will:

Display a detailed list of prices and labour rates

Provide an estimate for any additional servicing or repair work over £150

Give a realistic estimated time for completion and collection

Use genuine spare parts where available

Always provide them with a check list of work done

Not start work without the owner’s express authority

Contact them for authority to continue if additional work is identified

Notify them in writing of faults which are not rectified, with an honest assessment of the urgency of the repairs

The workshop will normally guarantee all repairs for a minimum of six months.

Consumers can find out more by visiting The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show – 17 – 22 February 2015 – NEC Birmingham or going to www.approvedworkshops.co.uk


AWS benefits from the support of The Camping and Caravanning Club and The Caravan Club and is backed by the caravan and motorhome industry’s major manufacturers.

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Omega 365
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 03:07:26 PM »

If you are looking to get your caravan serviced by a mobile engineer or want to take it to a workshop, check out our listings here:-

Mobile Caravan Servicing England
Mobile Caravan Servicing Wales
Mobile Caravan Servicing Scotland

Caravan Servicing Workshops England
Caravan Servicing Workshops Wales
Caravan Servicing Workshops Scotland
Caravan Servicing Workshops Ireland
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MRE Services Somerset
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 07:53:15 PM »

The Approved Workshop Scheme is a very good scheme, all its members have to pass an annual inspection, this inspection is carried out by independent assessors who check competencies are met, along with safety critical checks. all paperwork is checked along with test certificates for equipment and the users certificates.

The majority of Approved Workshops work extremely hard to maintain their high work standards along with good relationships with customers, as with any independent businesses as with chains you will get good ones along with bad ones but I believe the majority of Approved Workshops are good.

The Approved Workshop Scheme also has a complaints procedure, so if the customer is not happy a complaint can be escalated, equally there is a customer satisfaction survey that a lot of engineers hand out (if not on paperwork already), this is good for engineers as they can see what part of their service may need to looking at.

A full service on a caravan will normally take 3.5-4.5 hours depending on any faults found.

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 01:00:24 PM »

” says owner Oakleigh Wood. “AWS membership means customers can be confident that the work we carry out is second to none and that it will comply with warranty conditions.

This statement could be misleading in so much as......

AWS Workshops can service most UK caravans/Motorhomes to maintain the manufacturers warranty BUT it does not automatically mean that warranty work can be carried out, some manufacturers do allow warranty repairs but the majority don't, having said that if the AWS member has done 3rd party manufacturers courses like Alde, AlKo, BPW, Dometic, Truma, Thetford......etc etc then warranty work on these items can normally be carried out.......direct with the 3rd party
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 01:50:11 PM »

” says owner Oakleigh Wood. “AWS membership means customers can be confident that the work we carry out is second to none and that it will comply with warranty conditions.

This statement could be misleading in so much as......

AWS Workshops can service most UK caravans/Motorhomes to maintain the manufacturers warranty BUT it does not automatically mean that warranty work can be carried out, some manufacturers do allow warranty repairs but the majority don't, having said that if the AWS member has done 3rd party manufacturers courses like Alde, AlKo, BPW, Dometic, Truma, Thetford......etc etc then warranty work on these items can normally be carried out.......direct with the 3rd party

So as you say in your previouse post. a good thing but re the above maybe there is still more to be done.

Whilst you are on, any major issues with vans this time of year, are you getting a run on any particular things?
Also across the year do you get peaks in any sort of repairs, like taps needing renewing as the season starts due to freezing and splitting over winter?
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 09:38:08 PM »

Having raised two complaints on servicing carried out by two different AWS Members and got absolutely nowhere with either, not even getting a reply from AWS HQ, I have my doubts about it's integrity.

As a consequence I took my business away from any AWS Member organisation as they also seem to be more expensive than the individual local engineer in whom you have more faith.

Having said that, like a number of 'Approved Schemes' it's the Customer who funds the cost of the organisation who have 'joined' by the increased costs of using them.

Not for me, don't like getting ripped off!  Angry Angry Angry
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 09:05:26 AM »

I assume you are talking about dealers as opposed to individual local engineers, there are a lot of individual local engineers who are AWS as well, but like most industries there are good and bad in all, those that will go the extra mile to help you out by getting to you in your hour of need, then the ones who just do it for money and no pride in their work and do 9-5.

AWS members pay a lot of money on 1) training 2) equipment required to to a proper job 3) to the AWS/NCC for membership and assesments.

If you are not happy then you need to ring and speak to Sarha Wigmore at the AWS and voice your complaint, otherwise the AWS members that have let you down will let others down as well.

Price wise as a mobile engineer yes AWS approved the prices charged are lower than workshops and are around the same prices as non AWS mobile engineers, other than the ones that work out of the back of their cars and charge £59-£90 for a full service that is. Then of course you get the ones who turn up charge an arm and a leg and do a full service in an hour-hour and a half, a full service generally takes between 3.5-4.5 hours

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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 09:47:04 AM »

Actually I am talking about both Mobile & Fixed Base Dealers as there are other 'TinTent' owners at our secure storage who have used both.

One was fitted with an incorrect wheel bearing which nearly wrecked his 'TinTent' while another was literally conned into thinking his window rubber was rotted when there was nothing wrong with it, spent £50 on a new seal, and never heard back from the 'Engineer' to complete the service.

Having said that when we looked in a bit more detail it also transpired that a number of service points had been forgotten about, the main one being that his brakes needed to have both wheels off the ground at the same time to make any adjustment. As the owner was there he said that this never happened!

At least with a letter you would have thought that 'manners' would have prompted a reply, but none of the 'victims' of this bad service have heard a peep from AWS.

Unfortunately telephone calls some times conveniently get forgotten.

Also interestingly was that my warranty when it was running was not covered if I used a Mobile AWS Approved Engineer, something that needs to be confirmed when you buy a new 'TinTent' especially if you are miles away from a 'Reputable' dealer.   
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 03:21:44 PM »

That's interesting, what maker of the caravan was it that said it was not covered if serviced by an AWS approved workshop? Reason I ask is the only one I have been questioned about was a Bailey as the wording in the service book made it look like it was dealer service only, however customer emailed bailey who said any AWS could service their caravans/Motorhomes, I have yet to have any vans rejected that have gone back for warranty work, foreign vans are another story though!! Some dealers will swear black is white when it comes to servicing, bullying customers into their workshops by saying warranty is void if you go elsewhere.

Both wheels do not have to be raised to adjust the brakes correctly, I have put a link on here before to an AlKo service book that states how to adjust the brakes, no mention of both wheels having to be off the ground. The only reason you could possibly require this is if you wanted to lock both wheels when testing the handbrake, but this can be done perfectly well with the van on the floor (all wheels)

Obviously I can't comment on what has gone on at your storage yard but I doubt those two muppets will be trading long with antics like that.

Phone call to AWS would confirm they received your complaint, if not send it again while on the phone to them.
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2015, 03:37:44 PM »

I will also add that if both wheels need to be raised off the floor this can also be done mobile, in fact changing a compleat axle can be done by a compedent engineer, this I have done a couple of times in storage yards.
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 06:26:51 PM »



Having said that when we looked in a bit more detail it also transpired that a number of service points had been forgotten about, the main one being that his brakes needed to have both wheels off the ground at the same time to make any adjustment.

This is taken from page 10 of the AlKo handbook please note No 3 http://www.al-ko.co.uk/edit/files/handbooks/caravan-chassis-handbook-2011.pdf

AL-KO BRAKING SYSTEM ADJUSTMENT
1.
Ensure the towing shaft with coupling head is pulled
FULLY FORWARD. (Fig 11).
2.
Release the handbrake to the FULLY OFF position. If the
handbrake will not go down the whole way because of
the fairing or any other obstruction; then the fairing must
be cut away and/or the obstruction removed to achieve
this desired position. It will not be possible to set up the
braking system properly when the handbrake is not in the
FULLY OFF position. (Fig 11).
3.
Jack up one side of the caravan, using the AL-KO Side
Lift Jack System. (See Jack Operating Instructions).

4.
Remove the inner plastic bung from the backplate to
expose the ‘starwheel’ adjuster access. (Figs 11 & 12).
5.
ALWAYS rotating the road wheel in the forward direction
- NEVER backwards; adjust the starwheel with a suitable
screwdriver, in the direction of the arrow embossed
on the backplate until there is resistance in the wheel
rotation. (Fig 12).
6.
Slacken off the starwheel adjuster until the road wheel
turns freely in the FORWARD direction. (Fig 12).
7.
Check the adjustment at the end of the brake cable where it
is secured to the abutment (bracket), welded to the centre of
the axle. When the inner cable is pulled out it should extend
between 5 and 8 mm. (Fig 13a\b). (On tandem axles a double
abutment (bracket) is fitted to the front axle ONLY).
8.
Repeat for other wheel or wheels.
9.
On tandem axles the brake cables from the rear axle should
pass over this axle and cross over each other before being
connected to the abutment (bracket) on the front axle. Where
ATC is fitted to a tandem axle caravan, the brake cables
SHOULD NOT be crossed over.
10.
Ensure the balance bar (compensator) is being pulled evenly
(Figs 11 & 13a\b). Excessive movement to this bar (double on
tandem axles) would indicate possible incorrect adjustment
(if appropriate, repeat step No. 7 - Fig 13a\b).
11.
Check the brake rod support bracket, (fixed to the floor) IS
supporting the brake rod evenly. The brake rod MUST ALWAYS
run straight, NEVER bent or curved under any fittings. On
tandem axles, using the double balance bar, a brake rod
support tube (Part No. 228827) MUST ALWAYS be fitted on the
end of the brake rod, passing through the centre aperture on
the abutment
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 10:09:57 PM »

Both wheels off the deck for brake adjustment applies to Knott Axles and Brakes as they use the 'Spreadlever' system and it was thanks to the incompetence of an ASW Dealer and a Certified Caravan Technician, that our 'TinTent' was given back to us with a binding nearside drum, that I could have boiled water on after just a 5 mile trip back to the secure storage.

6 weeks later they finally agreed to resolve the 'problem' and it was still 'botched' as 7 days later the brakes poured smoke out of both drums as we descended a hill in Portugal.

After some lengthy discussions with Technical Support at Knott Trailers we got the 'TinTent' back to the UK and upon getting it up on axle stands and other supports, when the drums were removed the brake linings fell off the shoes, and the reason for this was that they had never been adjusted correctly by the ASW Dealer.

Needles to say the 'TinTent' has never returned and will never return to that dealer for anything else.

One other thing that puzzles me is the charges made by Mobile Engineers which 99% of the time are exactly the same as a Caravan Dealer, yet the Mobile Engineer has no 'premises' on which they pay that extortionate thing called 'Business Rates' along with Energy costs for heating and lighting.

So operating costs are significantly reduced.
     
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2015, 12:54:07 AM »

I don't know any mobile engineers that charge the same as dealers, all the ones I know (and I do know a lot of engineers) are all well under dealer prices, this is for service prices, repairs and hourly rates, no business rates for mobile but lots of other costs that probably don't cross anyone's mind, our energy bills are with fuel for getting to jobs, producing electricity and air, then you have the cost of the vehicle (our workshop) tyres, brakes, servicing etc etc A lot of dealers/fixed workshops never go on 3rd party courses where as most the mobile engineers like myself do, we see the same faces when we attend the likes of AlKo, Alde, BPB, Dometic, Thetford, Truma, we take time out from our businesses to attend them with travel costs, hotel costs and evening meals etc


Clearly your dealer screwed up your brakes, this clearly shouldn't happen, but as I say a lot of that is down to how they train or attempting jobs they cant or shouldn't do, the majority of mobile engineers know the limits of what they can or can not do, if they are not happy doing it they pass the work on or just pass on the work, there is no shame in it it is common sense.
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2015, 10:58:31 AM »

reading these posts there seems to be a little divide over mobile or workshop and the quality of the service engineer.
i feel if you get bad service you make it known to the service r/workshop and get it rectified to your request if it is wrong.then it is up to you to use them again or not.
i feel word of mouth speaks wonders in getting a good service.i know a few that have a mobile come to them and are very happy with the work/prices.
i have had a few friends with brand new vans that had to go back to the dealer time and time again for warranty work that should have been picked up befor van was given to buyer,ie spanking new van no fridge,turned out it was not plugged in at all,needless to say dealer got well told about it as there were other faults too,found on the field when first trip out is not convenient for the owner.they tend to get cross.
each year about 10 friends pick up a new van,various makes,and i get told in conversation whats not right and very few are as they should be,working correctly,this is down to dealers not doing pre delivery correctly waiting for it to come back then fixing whats wrong,they get paid for the fixing under warranty.
i here it all the time,this or that dealer is a---,but soon get a bad name.
this also goes for the mobile one,do bad work they soon get a bad name.
get good ones and word of mouth comes into its own,if you have a good one use them if not ask about and find another one.
there is no excuse for sending out vans not working correctly.mobile or workshop.
 
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2015, 11:25:20 AM »

Just my view, I always use a mobile service engineer.

This is my reasoning.

I get the work done when I want it done, a mobile engineer will come to do my job. If I book it into a workshop it may sit waiting for a slot for a day or two, not in all cases but many stack up work.

They come to me, no cost or inconvenience of transporting the van back and two to the workshop

I get the work done by my choice of engineer, and i can see him do the work.

I can see what I am getting for my money, engineers may find things that need renewing that you didn't think of, at least with a mobile you can have a look at the problem as they find it and say if you agree to replacements or repairs. At a workshop its over the phone or means making a visit.

A workshop may use different engineers every time you visit, with a mobile if the guy does a good job you book the same person next time you want a service, building a good relationship with them. If you are not happy you can book a different one next time.


Having said that there are some very good fixed workshops around and mobile servicing isn't for everyone, especially if you don't have anywhere to have it serviced


If you are looking to get your caravan serviced by a mobile engineer or want to take it to a workshop, check out our listings here:-

Mobile Caravan Servicing England
Mobile Caravan Servicing Wales
Mobile Caravan Servicing Scotland

Caravan Servicing Workshops England
Caravan Servicing Workshops Wales
Caravan Servicing Workshops Scotland
Caravan Servicing Workshops Ireland


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